Rod Stewart takes a sentimental turn on new album

08/09/2014 12:00 AM

08/09/2014 7:32 PM

You know that Rod Stewart, rock’s perpetual bon vivant, is partial to blondes, fancy clothes and soccer, not necessarily in that order.

Two things you might not know about the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer: he’s ridiculously sentimental and — this seems unbelievable — he has stopped playing soccer.

“I retired about six months ago,” Stewart, 69, said from Los Angeles. “It broke my heart. It’s a huge lump out of my life. I’m over it now. Knee injury. It would take me three or four days and two boxes of Advil to try to get me back to sort of normal.”

He watches soccer on TV when he works out. And he attends his kids’ games.

“I live vicariously through my two younger sons. My 8-year-old is crazy about it. He came home from school the other day and had an assignment: What is the one thing your dad has taught you to do? ‘My dad has taught me to take free kicks and corner kicks.’ Nothing worldly.

“I miss the kids. It’s so quiet here without them,” he said. “They’re still in London with their mum.”

Told you he’s sentimental.

“I’ve always been sentimental,” Stewart confessed. “I’ve never found the vehicle to put it on tour and to music. I’m especially sentimental about kids and about my dad, who I idolized. I’m a romantic, as well.”

His sentimentality is all over his latest album, Time.

The song Brighton Beach is a yearning for his heady youth and that 17-year-old girl who got away. Can’t Stop Me Now is a celebration of his career, from his record-label audition to pub gigs. Nothing gets more personal than It’s Over, a reflection back to a wedding, then the kids and now a breakup after five years “poisoned by the lawyers’ letters.” Stewart is twice-divorced with eight children, including two with third wife Penny.

Time was the first album in years for which he penned a bunch of new tunes.

Writing songs was “a shock to my system,” he said. “You know, my biggest output, I think, was [1978’s] Blondes Have More Fun, which I wrote nine songs for. This was 10 or 11 songs. It was all prompted because I put the autobiography together [2012’s Rod]. Talking to family and friends and relatives for stories for the book, I thought: ‘Maybe I could write about that.’ So one inspired the other.”

Jon Bream

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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